Montgomery Gourmet Foods has announced anticipated net sales of $23.7m for the fourth quarter of 2005, an increase of 57%, and full year net sales of US$85.3m, an increase of 37% on 2004 levels.

CEO Jim Williams said: "Our strong sales growth continued in the fourth quarter with increases in nearly all categories. Especially positive were our core Monterey Pasta business with sales up 37%, CIBO Naturals with sales up 29%, and Emerald Valley Organics with sales up 18%, all versus fourth quarter 2004. Our acquisitions earlier in 2005 of Sonoma Cheese and Casual Gourmet contributed US$3.5m of new sales for the quarter."

However, earnings for the fourth quarter of 2005 are expected to be a US$0.04 loss per share, while projected full year earnings are a loss of US$0.03 per share. These earnings are an improvement on 2004 earnings, which were a US$0.09 loss per share.

Williams attributed this earnings shortfall to exceptional costs that MGF encountered throughout the year, "most of which were of a one-time nature" he said.

Commenting on prospects for 2006, Williams said: "We remain highly confident that in 2006 our company will see significant profit improvement. Now that we have a broader portfolio of products and have succeeded in accelerating sales, we intend to intensify our focus on profit growth."